Senator Ted Cruz announced via social media that he has reintroduced a joint resolution to add term limits to congress with a constitutional amendment.
Today my colleagues and I reintroduced a constitutional amendment to impose #TermLimits on Members of Congress. The amendment would limit U.S. senators to two six-year terms and members of the U.S. House of Representatives to three two-year terms. pic.twitter.com/1izmg5EQ6B— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 25, 2021
The proposal seeks to add term limits of two terms of six years for senators, and three terms of two years for representatives.
This effort is long over due, and has been suggested by citizens of all political ideologies. This fact shines an unfavorable light on section 3 of the proposed amendment that would forfeit all terms served prior to ratification. Meaning, that a sitting member of congress would be able to continue running for office, with their first re-election serving as their first term – regardless of how long they have already been in office.
Don Young, for example, has already been serving nearly 48 years in the House of Representatives, and will have served nearly 50 years by his next election. Should the amendment be ratified before 2022, he would retain eligibility to maintain his seat until 2028.
Patrick Leahy has served on the Senate since 1975, making him eligible for reelection in 2022 and continuing to serve until 2034.
Term limits are certainly warranted in Congress, and arguably other branches of state government as well. Arguments have even been made to apply limitations to sitting Justices on the Supreme Court. However, this amendment obviously does not come without it’s politics, leaving opportunity for today’s career politicians to live out their time, save for the freshman minority.
Can Cruz Rally Support in a 50/50 Senate?
With the power struggle under way, it seems unlikely this proposal will ever see the Senate floor for any form of meaningful debate. Senator Cruz referenced his “colleagues” in his social media posts, indicating co-sponsors for the resolution. This re-introduction is not currently available, however the co-sponsor list from the first introduction in 2019 gives us the indication that this is certainly a partisan effort.
Oddly enough, Ted Cruz and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared an agreement over barring former legislators from a career as lobbyists. Could this be the bridge used to bring support to a bipartisan goal to actually better the country?
Here’s something I don’t say often: on this point, I AGREE with @AOC Indeed, I have long called for a LIFETIME BAN on former Members of Congress becoming lobbyists. The Swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation? https://t.co/jPW0xkH2Yy— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 30, 2019
The need for term limits throughout congress is obvious to anyone who is being honest about it. The problem comes from the need of honest politicians willing to vote against their personal interest for the sake of the country. Section 3 of this amendment highlights that reluctance all too well.